We’ve recently learned from SAP that nearly 12,000 businesses have purchased SAP S/4HANA licenses. We know that most have not gone live yet, and we also know that there are still many more that do not have active migration plans in place yet.

According to the ASUG 2019 State of the Community Study, more than half of ASUG members have plans to implement SAP S/4HANA in the future, but they have held back because of prioritization, lack of resources, waiting for the product to mature, or needing to justify the move. It’s not that companies don’t want to get there—it’s that they just need some guidance and resources to help.

Taking the First Steps to SAP S/4HANA

To address that need, ASUG News has put together a basic list of resources available through SAP that might help those who are thinking about making the move. This is by no means a complete list, but it should help get the ball rolling.

The first step in moving to SAP S/4HANA is to build a business case. If you can’t show your C-suite both the IT and business benefits, chances are your proposal will be dead on arrival. But where do you begin working on your business case and how do you prepare it to present to your decision-makers?

We’ve learned from the ASUG Undercover CIO that the most important factor in building a business case is this: Your business case is not about upgrading to the newest technology. Your business case is about solving existing business issues in a new and improved way. You need to first understand your existing business issues and then figure out how SAP S/4HANA will help solve those challenges.

Building Your SAP S/4HANA Business Case

To help analyze your business and technical environment, SAP offers a number of free tools and services, including Business Scenario Recommendations, SAP Innovation Optimization Pathfinder, SAP S/4HANA Value Advisor, and SAP Transformation Navigator.

  • The Business Scenario Recommendations (BSR) is a free report based on SAP ECC 6 usage. With that real-world information, BSR identifies transactions that would benefit most from SAP S/4HANA. It also compares your ERP usage to peers in the industry (anonymously). This is the most detailed and personalized way to begin a conversation with business users about SAP S/4HANA.
  • The SAP Innovation Optimization Pathfinder tool is designed to help evaluate your overall product road map. It helps a business to explore software innovations filtered by industry, Line-of-Business (LoB), and technology. This tool helps to gain a better understanding of what SAP S/4HANA does and how it has improved over older ERP versions.
  • The SAP S/4HANA Value Advisor tool is designed to provide a quick and simple way to measure the potential value of SAP S/4HANA for any business. Customers can evaluate 35 value drivers to narrow down the possibilities through a short sequence of questions and then further refine them by industry and LoB.
  • The SAP Transformation Navigator provides road maps to help gain enterprise buy-in around key decisions including what you need to do, how you are going to do it, and how long it should take.

It’s Time to Get Ready for SAP S/4HANA

If you’re running on an SAP ECC 6.0 system, the SAP Readiness Check tool helps your IT department analyze the readiness of the company’s existing system.

The report answers questions such as:

  • How big should the SAP HANA database be?
  • What SAP Fiori applications are relevant to my business users?
  • Are my add-ons compatible with SAP S/4HANA?
  • Which of my existing business functions or transactions will change as a result of moving to SAP S/4HANA?
  • Will my custom code objects work with SAP S/4HANA?

The tool helps to answer all the questions above and more. You can analyze the state of your current processes to determine any cleanup requirements before migrating to SAP S/4HANA. You can view new and updated data structures/architectures in SAP S/4HANA to determine if they are relevant to your processes. You also can analyze the impact of custom code by knowing which SAP objects are now different or no longer exist in SAP S/4HANA.

Start the Move to SAP S/4HANA with Guidance

SAP recently launched its SAP S/4HANA Movement program, designed to help customers transition into an intelligent enterprise seamlessly with packaged tools and services. One of those services, the SAP S/4HANA Adoption Starter Engagement program provides an expert-guided experience for structuring, organizing, and building your plan for moving to an SAP S/4HANA landscape. Customers have access to decision-making tools and SAP customer peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and networking on a platform that combines a virtual classroom with self-guided steps.

By the end of this exercise, customers will receive prescriptive guidance on how to start their journeys to SAP S/4HANA, define the ROI they expect to achieve, choose the right deployment options for their businesses, simplify their digital operations, and better interpret the value of their data to help make better business decisions in the future. This service is available complimentary to any customer who has an SAP Support contract.

Once a customer has completed the steps to SAP S/4HANA Adoption Starter Engagement program, they can turn to SAP Digital Business Services to help them achieve smoother transitions. This service include access to SAP S/4HANA Value Discovery Engagement, which assists with the preparation process; SAP Value Assurance, which helps bring efficiency and risk reduction to all project phases; SAP Advanced Deployment, which provides customers with access to a turnkey, SAP-led implementation option to simply and systematically deploy SAP S/4HANA; and SAP Model Company, which provides a preconfigured, ready-to-run reference solution with business content and engineered services for multiple industries and LoBs.

Learn to Run on SAP S/4HANA

ASUG News recently shared tips on how to avoid an SAP S/4HANA implementation disaster. We also discussed the different flavors of SAP S/4HANA and how to pick the right one for you. But beyond knowing how to get there and how to avoid implementation failures, you’ll want to know how to best run on an SAP S/4HANA system once you’ve successfully made the move. You can visit the SAP S/4HANA Road Map resource page, which serves as an official list of the features that are included in or planned for future releases. Customers can scroll through webinars on the latest SAP solutions and learn how to best use them for their business. You also can visit the Release Highlights page to find information on new features, functions, and highlights in the latest release of SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

Register for the ASUG Express: Achieving Success with SAP S/4HANA Virtual Boot Camp series, beginning on Oct. 27, 2020, to learn about strategy and vision, building a business case, project planning and preparation, successfully executing, change management, and how to execute a 100% remote project.